• Reed Perkins

Policy: Rural Broadband

We've decided that every home deserves access to mail, power, water, and phone lines. It's time the same happens for broadband internet. A fast and reliable connection is increasingly necessary to participate in the modern world. Precision agriculture, e-learning, e-commerce, telecommuting, and distance medicine all require broadband.

The Federal Government is working on a series of bills to address rural access. [1] There is more we can do here in Minnesota though. We rank 24th in the nation in terms of most connected, and two of the three counties in Minnesota with the smallest percentage of their population having access to broadband are here in SD1. Only 44.7% of Kittson County and 50.2% of Marshall County have access to broadband. [2]

Minnesota had set a goal of 100% access to broadband by 2022 and the estimated amount needed to reach that goal was $35 million per year. [3] In 2018 there was no money budgeted for that and in 2019 there was only $20 million per year for the next two years put forward. [4]

Investment in rural broadband is investment in farmers, students, small businesses, and our communities as a whole. We need to get back on track to hitting our statewide goal by 2022 and get the counties in our corner of the state back on par with everywhere else.

[1] https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2019/05/in-washington-and-st-paul-progress-on-rural-broadband-internet-is-slow-spotty/

[2] https://broadbandnow.com/Minnesota

[3] https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2019/05/in-washington-and-st-paul-progress-on-rural-broadband-internet-is-slow-spotty/

[4] https://www.lmc.org/page/1/BroadbandUPDATE.jsp?ssl=true

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Reed Perkins

I'm running for State Senate in Minnesota's 1st district because your voice deserves to be heard.

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